What's happened to Ferrari's engines?

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Two failures this weekend (Alonso and de la Rosa), both different, according to Stefano Domenicali. It's not like the old days where teams would constantly fiddle with an engine to improve performance, as we have homologation. So is it purely down to the manufacturing process not being up to scratch?
It might be a packaging problem. With aerodynamics being so critical in modern F1, Ferrari might have "shrink wrapped" the bodywork too tightly around the components, resulting in some localized overheating and reliability problems. :dunno:
I guess the other interesting question is whether Alonso's downshift problems contributed to his engine failure or whether the two are unrelated. It could be a packaging problem and it will be interesting to see what happened to de la Rosa's Sauber, which didn't even make the grid.
I'm pretty sure Alonso's downshift problem was related to his engine failure.

I seem to recall Martin Brundle saying that had turned the rev's right up to counteract the problem somewhat so with that and possibly over-revving when downshifting, it was only a matter of time.

Do we know what the other failure reason was?
The Ferrari problem would of been ok if it wasn't for what happened in Bahrain.

It was peculiar that Ferrari changed there engines after Bahrain with no apparent reason and then basically said everything is ok.

Am i right in thinking De La Rosas problem was to do with the hydraulics that also effect Kobi too?

I think also Could just be a Ferrari problem like RedBull and renault last season.
Now seems ferrari are blaming the ECU for the problem with Sauber's engines. They are also saying that Alonso's lack of clutch could have contributed to his engine blowing up, but won't know until they get it back to the factory.

Source: ESPN F1
More news on Ferrari's engines: http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns22179.html

It would seem I was right about Alonso over-revving the engine but they haven't identified the cause of all the other failures though.

More importantly, they're rapidly running out of engines and unless they solve the problem could start getting hit with penalties before the end of the season:

This means that for the remaining 16 races of the season Alonso has only five new engines to use, with one unit still capable of doing around 1,680 kilometres and another one, available only for Free Practice, with close to 860 kilometres left.
Cancer Cowboy said:
[quote="fat_jez":8wvt2mfv]Now seems ferrari are blaming the ECU for the problem with Sauber's engines.

If Ferrari and Sauber have problems, shouldn't Toro Rosso have them as well?[/quote:8wvt2mfv]

yeah, you'd think so.
The ECU Ferrrari are blaming, that wouldn't be the Mclaren manufactured ECU would it? Wonder what made them pick on that...
Could we maybe see Ferrari being given special dispensation to sort the reliability problems of their engines? Renault did so I can't see how this is any different
I posted this in the China race thread but it's equally valid here.

Alonso had another engine failure in P1.


Ferrari have to be getting worried now.
That's 2 engines out of 8 dead with 16 races still left to go.

I doubt the FIA will allow them to do any work on the engine.
Toro Rosso use Ferrari engines and they don't have any problems.
Maybe Ferrari have just packed it in too tightly and it's overheating?
Or perhaps Alonso is harder on it than the other drivers?
I can undrstand why Ferrari wouldn't be that concerned given the history of that particular engine and i think it would be quite realistic to expect trouble with it when reused.

As for overheating it's difficult to say but i doubt that conditions seen in these early few races (Bharain / Malaysia) will be encountered again during the course of the season but it was noticable they created extra "gill" vent slots for those races.
Having said that there may well be an arguement that the packaging may be the cause of the problem but not in the conventional sense of just squeezing the bodywork on to tightly. I guess what needs to be remembered is that this engine is more than capable of reliable operabilty proven in previous years given that thr revs are now limited to 18k and last year it also coped with the stresses of the KERS system.
What is different this year is related to packaging but has far more to do with the angle at which the engine / gearbox is mounted, at 3.5 deg angle. That could well have a bearing on the problems as different stresses will undoubtly be encountered and i'd imagine would neccesitate some different solutions to the norm around the areas of heat dissipation and fluid dynamics (fuel/oil/coolant/hydraulics etc).
Maybe this reliabilty problem is an effect of chasing aero?
I may be misunderstanding that article but they say there is insufficient time to replenish the compressed air during the pit-stop. How about a bigger air cylinder or keeping the car stationary for longer? Not going to be too good from a competitive situation for Ferrrari but if there is an engine design freeze, tough!
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